Rugby: Tietjens family meet in battle

It will be a case of the master taking on the apprentice at the Emirates Sevens Festival at Blake Park, Mount Maunganui, tomorrow.

Sevens super coach Gordon Tietjens will coach the NZ All Stars team against his son Paul, who is in charge of the Bay of Plenty Dream Team, in the best lineup of Sevens superstars to grace the Western Bay for many years.

Both sides are chock-a-block with past and present legends of the Sevens game in what promises to be a thrilling spectacle that kicks off at 12.30pm.

Paul Tietjens is rapidly making a name for himself as a coach to watch out for, impressing this winter with his work with the Mount Maunganui College First XV, and last week he coached Te Puna to the Bay of Plenty club title.

Tomorrow's festive occasion will be the first time the 24-year-old has coached head-to-head with his famous dad and he is looking forward to the challenge.

"It is definitely the first time I have come up against Dad as this is my first year coaching," Tietjens junior said.

"It is a really good opportunity to come up against someone like him who has obviously done a lot for the Sevens game so I am really excited about it. It will be a big challenge but very enjoyable at the same time," he said. "There will be a bit of banter flying as to who is going to take out the win and that sort of thing, but it will all be in good spirit and should be a great game of Sevens, as well as being fun at the same time."

Tietjens is looking forward to working with some seriously talented players in his team who he hopes he can learn from.

"Guys like Glen Osborne, Caleb Ralph, Peter Woods, Lance MacDonald and Chad Tuoro, who are in the Bay Dream team, have obviously got a lot of experience.

"I am a bit younger than they are so that will be challenging to try and assist them as a coach but it will be really good and I will be able to learn some stuff off them at the same time."

Some of the all-time greats of the game will be in action in the NZ All Stars team, including Eric Rush, Karl Te Nana, Dallas Seymour, Amasio Valence Raoma, Joeli Vidiri, DJ Forbes, Brad Fleming, Orene Ai'i and Ed Cocker.

All Black greats Jonah Lomu and Christian Cullen will also be at Blake Park.

They first came to prominence in the Sevens game and although they are not playing on Saturday, they are certain to be hugely sought after by autograph hunters of all ages.

The Bay of Plenty All Stars will field a side of past players who have connections with the Bay of Plenty region. Former All Blacks and New Zealand Sevens team members Caleb Ralph and Glen Osborne will join Bay stalwarts such as Peter Woods and Damien Karuna in the Bay Dream team uniform.

One for the future to keep an eye on is Luke Masirewa, who played a big part in Te Puna winning the Bay of Plenty club Sevens last weekend. His father Waisake is a former NZ Sevens rep.

Bay of Plenty Rugby Union CEO Mike Rogers is grateful for the support from Emirates to enable the festival to happen.

"They have made the Emirates Sevens Festival possible on Saturday, where some of the greats of the sevens games will again showcase their talents," Rogers said.

"It is an outstanding opportunity for Bay rugby fans to see such a collection of New Zealand Sevens talent over the years together on the same stage.

"The Emirates Sevens Festival was also a good opportunity to promote Rugby Sevens as a whole, in an area the union is currently developing.

"Interest in Rugby Sevens is on the rise, illustrated by increases in entries for both our school and club competitions held last week. We want to continue that growth but also make representing the Bay of Plenty men's and women's teams at the elite level a really attractive prospect and something to strive for."

With free admission, Bay of Plenty Rugby are expecting a large crowd to turn up.

Players from both teams will sign autographs after the game and the day's action begins at 11am with the best Bay secondary schoolgirl players in action, before the Bay of Plenty secondary school boys play at 11.30am.


Emirates Sevens Festival, Blake Park, Mount Maunganui, Saturday, 10 November.

  • 11.00am: Best of the best BOP Secondary Schoolgirls game.

  • 11.30am: Best of the best BOP Secondary Schoolboys game.

  • 12.30pm: Emirates All Stars v BOP Dream Team.

  • 1.15pm: Autograph session with players from both teams.


Emirates NZ All Stars:

Karl Te Nana, Dallas Seymour, Amasio Valence Raoma, Eric Rush, Jonah Lomu, Joeli Vidiri, DJ Forbes, Brad Fleming, Orene Ai'i, Ed Cocker, Luke Masirewa, Tafai Ioasa, Christian Cullen. Coach: Gordon Tietjens

Bay of Plenty Dream Team:

Peter Woods, Zar Lawrence, Andrew Blowers, Hayden Reid, Glen Osborne, Damien Karuna, Caleb Ralph, Chad Tuoro, Lance MacDonald, Craig Hudson. Coach: Paul Tietjens

- Bay of Plenty Times

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